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CB radios - Do you use one?

Jayco23FB
Explorer
Explorer
Wondering if a CB radio is still beneficial. Used them in the 70s, but has the cell phone made them dinosaurs?
Jayco G2 23FB
2007 Chevrolet 2500HD 6.0L
19 REPLIES 19

valhalla360
Nomad III
Nomad III
BB_TX wrote:
RetiredRealtorRick wrote:
"....If you are in a caravan, you can use apps that let you set up a multi-party conference call group...."

Just like everybody in the caravan being on the same CB channel, eh? :h

Yeah, but no one outside the caravan group getting in.


And sound quality is much better. You can also send text or pictures.

Lost cell coverage is very rare on major freeways and you are unlikely to run into a traffic jamb or hear of issues on the CB if you are off in the backwoods away from cell coverage.

So, yes, you can come up with oddball situations where they may be better but 99% of the time other modern systems are better.
Tammy & Mike
Ford F250 V10
2021 Gray Wolf
Gemini Catamaran 34'
Full Time spliting time between boat and RV

Tvov
Explorer
Explorer
Before we had kids we used CBs a few times for long trips with friends in different vehicles. It was fun and kept everyone awake.

We used a CB for our first year of camping, 20 years ago. We were usually traveling alone, so I would just leave it on channel 19 to listen. Our kids were under 10 years old, and I quickly stopped using the CB due to language coming over it... I don't know if I just hadn't noticed it previously, but we just stopped using it.

After cell phones became common, we haven't used one at all.
_________________________________________________________
2021 F150 2.7
2004 21' Forest River Surveyor

BackOfThePack
Explorer
Explorer
Introduced this past year are a handful of radios (more to come) with integrated DSP (Digital Signal Processing). Literature calls it NRC. The world of Amateur has had it quite awhile, and external devices have been available (I’ve used an amplified DSP speaker the past eight years)

This is the biggest change since the expansion to 40-channels. A level of performance others are unaware exists.

I run a CB 300-days/year, several thousand hours. DSP uncovers the RX your radio received, but couldn’t make legible (audible). QUALITY of what’s heard is significantly increased, and QUANTITY (distance) is bettered. Makes listening all day much easier. (I can run close to wide open all day re SQ and RF Gain).

CB today is for the few. It has no peer, much less any substitute for when it matters most (like a seat belt or pistol). Proper installation and best antenna mount location are key. Quick and dirty delivers terrible performance. Avoid that. Read, make lists, get supply & tools.

www.k0bg.com is the Mobile Radio Installation Bible.

HEAR, AND GET HEARD


1). The latest Stryker HPC (955 & 655), or the ANYTONE AT5555N2.

2). Center roof mount SIRIO 5000 Performer on a BREEDLOVE Mount.

3). (Used) KENWOOD KES-5 mil-spec external speaker mounted just ahead of drivers seat firing into footwell (can listen to NOAA 40-yards from truck you crank it up).

4). Marine-grade wiring & terminations (USCG-spec) POS to BATT & NEG to closest DC ground (think inches, not feet). Encased in split-loom, etc.


It’s common for me to converse easily with another those right around me can’t hear or can’t make out. Easy to alter plans with a heads-up 12-15/miles out versus 2-3/miles. . Big trucks are harder to do, expense is higher, yet it pays for itself 2-3X year (past accounting of crash avoidance).

DISTANT EARLY WARNING.

The phenomenon of SKIP (solar cycle upswing caused) means daylight hours it’s more difficult than just a year ago. Jerks on overpowered base stations with no job except this one. Must pay okay to screw up CH-19 as it’s the Devils work. (Read on, Solar Propagation).

DSP plus a MyAntennas CMC Choke reduces noise such that voices stand out better and audio controls can be set more easily. (Don’t give up: the $250 AT radio & $15 speaker noted are the equivalent of what I spent $600 to achieve).

“Export Radio” (as above) have the wattage to get heard (40-80W). The antenna is the biggest factor, but don’t expect any responses in daylight with 4W. (Scott’s Radios or Walcott Radio; antenna at DNJ Radio; mount at Breedlove).

OWN THE MEANS OF COMMUNICATION.

Ten years or more is a realistic expectation of service.

.
2004 555 CTD QC LB NV-5600
1990 35’ Silver Streak

Cptnvideo
Nomad
Nomad
I used to use a CB radio for years - mainly for road conditions. Haven't used one for at least 7 years. However, over the last few months I have remarked to my wife that a CB would be handy as we sat in backed up traffic.
Low and behold, my SIL gave me a CB radio for Christmas. I installed it a couple days ago. Noise on all channels required a LOT of squelch. Not sure if the issue is antenna, radio (Uniden) or environment. We do plan on keeping the squelch turned up fairly high unless we encounter a traffic "situation".
Bill & Linda, 2019 Ram Laramie 3500 dually 4x4 diesel, Hensley BD5 hitch, 2022 Grand Design Solitude 378MBS, 1600 watts solar, Victron 150/100 MPPT controller, GoPower 3kw inverter/charger, 5 SOK 206AH LFP batteries for 1030 ah

wa8yxm
Explorer III
Explorer III
valhalla360 wrote:
Not really.

If you are in a caravan, you can use apps that let you set up a multi-party conference call group, so you don't have to call each one individually.

Traffic conditions are much more accurate with apps.

No harm if you want to get one but the 70's are a long time ago.


They work real good when you are out of range of Cell Towers (Read that they don't work at all if one or more of you are out of range of Cell Towers)

RADIOS... Well my CB's are good to a few miles.. and my ham rigs.. Much farther.. NO CELL PHONE TOWER NEEDED.

Of course when I am in range of a cell tower.. I've a small computer ($10.00 when I bought it) in fact 5 of them... They connect to either my house router or my cell phones wi-fi Hotspot.. And with a 100mW (That's 0.10 watts folks) of RF.. or with one of them not even that.. My Range is..... Well I once ask a ham what time it was where he was (3:10 PM... Strange.. My clock also said 3:10 just AM.
Home was where I park it. but alas the.
2005 Damon Intruder 377 Alas declared a total loss
after a semi "nicked" it. Still have the radios
Kenwood TS-2000, ICOM ID-5100, ID-51A+2, ID-880 REF030C most times

Matt_Colie
Explorer
Explorer
We have used all available without an FCC license.

We ran CB for years and then turned it off when it went bad. The capability of an open call is the best part. The coax in the coach got damaged and I haven't replaced it yet, but I plan to.

When we have caravanned, we got out the FRS walkie talkies. They were effective, but the limited range was sometimes an issue. This year, I have to buy a new set of batteries for them.

We have run in convoy with cell phones and on the blue roads it works, but loose the cell and you are done. An open forum app as proposed above does work, but there is no open call available also as mentioned.

To each his own. Everything is a compromise.....

Matt
Matt & Mary Colie
A sailor, his bride and their black dogs (one dear dog is waiting for us at the bridge) going to see some dry places that have Geocaches in a coach made the year we married.

BB_TX
Nomad
Nomad
RetiredRealtorRick wrote:
"....If you are in a caravan, you can use apps that let you set up a multi-party conference call group...."

Just like everybody in the caravan being on the same CB channel, eh? :h

Yeah, but no one outside the caravan group getting in.

RetiredRealtorR
Explorer
Explorer
"....If you are in a caravan, you can use apps that let you set up a multi-party conference call group...."

Just like everybody in the caravan being on the same CB channel, eh? :h
. . . never confuse education with intelligence, nor motion with progress

pbeverly
Nomad
Nomad
We use handhelds when caravanning. Wife and I use cell phone when backing TT into campsite, however, if there is no cell signal, we use the handhelds. Also use in campsite if some wander off exploring. Phones and apps are great until you have no cell service.
Ridgeway, SC
2019 26DBH Grey Wolf

d1h
Nomad II
Nomad II

LadyRVer
Explorer
Explorer
I have a hand-held CB I use for traffic reports if traffic starts backing up. Find it useful.

BB_TX
Nomad
Nomad
WAZE, Google maps and others and even my Ford GPS will warn of traffic issues ahead and recommend alternate routes if possible if you input a destination before you start.

Been years since I used a CB radio. Would rather listen to Willie’s Roadhouse than all that inane chatter on 19. Traveling with others it could be useful.

valhalla360
Nomad III
Nomad III
Not really.

If you are in a caravan, you can use apps that let you set up a multi-party conference call group, so you don't have to call each one individually.

Traffic conditions are much more accurate with apps.

No harm if you want to get one but the 70's are a long time ago.
Tammy & Mike
Ford F250 V10
2021 Gray Wolf
Gemini Catamaran 34'
Full Time spliting time between boat and RV

Tom_Barb
Explorer
Explorer
yes,,, some , I monitor traffic / Truck channels..
2000 Newmar mountain aire 4081 DP, ISC/350 Allison 6 speed, Wrangler JL toad.